The Day of Departure (出発の日, Shuppatsu no Hi) is the 1st chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.


Whale Island is a quaint island community in the vast ocean of the world. In this quiet population, a young boy named Gon Freecss decides to follow his father's footsteps and become a Hunter. Gon's caretaker, Mito Freecss, refuses to let him become a Hunter, so Gon places a bet with her: if Gon can catch the biggest fish on the island, then she'll allow him to enter the 287th Hunter Exam. Mito accepts, though only because she believes the task is near-impossible to accomplish. Everyone on the island watches patiently as Gon waits for the enormous creature, called the Master of the Swamp amongst the fishermen. Mito and the crowd look in disbelief as Gon successfully catches the fish. Going on her word, Mito signs the Hunter Exam Application Form and goes back home saddened. Gon eagerly goes to the nearby post box, and as he mails the application form, he is playfully ambushed by his Foxbear friend, Kon.

As the two relax in the forest, Gon recalls an event three years ago that changed his life forever. A Hunter named Kite rescued a young Gon from an attack by a ferocious Foxbear. Kite killed the beast, but just as he went to put its cub down, Gon stopped him and embraced the child Foxbear. Kite warned Gon the cub was wild and would hold a grudge against humans once it was older. The cub clawed at Gon and hurriedly ran back into the forest. Kite asked Gon if his father's name was Ging Freecss, responding with a shocked expression. Kite went to Whale Island seeking clues regarding Ging's whereabouts and had found nothing up until meeting Gon. As the two discussed Ging, the Foxbear cub returned to Gon and grew accustomed to him. Before he left in search of more clues, Kite told Gon that animals get along well with good Hunters. From that moment on, Gon wanted to be a Hunter when he grew up.

After saying goodbye to the animals of the forest, Gon returns to his home. Mito comes with Gon to the harbor on the day of his departure. She tells Gon that when he was a baby, she forced Ging to give up his son, though Gon says he realized this a while ago. He boards the ship heading toward the location of the Hunter Exam, and waves farewell to Mito. The other Hunter applicants on board tell Gon not to get too cocky as the captain warns the passengers that, "It's going to be rough."

Characters in Order of Appearance

Chapter Notes

  • Hunters are defined as individuals captivated by the mysterious unknown.
  • Aunt Mito agrees to let Gon take the Hunter Exam after he had fulfilled his promise of catching the Master of the Swamp; a feat that five grown men could not achieve together.
  • In Whale Island, three years ago, Gon meets with his father's apprentice, a Hunter named Kite.
    • Kite tells Gon that his father is still alive.
    • Kite's final test from Ging is to find him.
  • Gon retrieved the Hunter License Kite had lost after his clash with the Foxbear.
  • Mito confesses to Gon that she forced Ging to give up his son.
  • Gon boards a ship to the location of the Hunter Exam.


ve Hunter Exam arc
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38
Anime 1999: List of Episodes (1999 series)
Anime 2011: List of Episodes (2011 series)
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